Author Topic: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch  (Read 64679 times)

Offline Battle

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #345 on: September 14, 2021, 03:26:21 pm »
Tuesday, 14th  September  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
Baltimore Pig Convicted Of Lying About Being Spat Upon Captured On Video
by Jessica Anderson & Justin Fenton




A Baltimore police officer was convicted this week for lying about an incident in which he appeared to be attacked while making an arrest captured in a viral video last year, sparking outrage from local leaders.

Sgt. Welton Simpson was convicted following a bench trial Monday of giving a false statement to law enforcement and misconduct in office, according to the Baltimore State’s Attorney Office.

Police Commissioner Michael Harrison initially said that Simpson was doing a business check in the 1500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue when a person in the business became argumentative with the sergeant and spat in his face.

He and then-Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, then-Council President Brandon Scott, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, and State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby all condemned the video.

Later, defense attorneys for Zayne Abdullah, who had been charged with assaulting Simpson, said the body-worn camera footage did not back up the officer’s claims about what led to the exchange.

Body camera footage did not appear to show Abdullah spitting at the officer, who shoved Abdullah and says,

“Get out of my face!”

The charges against Abdullah were subsequently dropped.

According to the Baltimore state’s attorney’s office, Simpson’s body worn camera had been rolling from a prior vehicle stop and he did not know that his camera caught the initial interactions between him and Abdullah.

Prosecutors said it showed the officer bumping Abdullah in the shoulder and telling him to “move out the [expletive] way.”

Prosecutors said there was no evidence that Abdullah spat on him, as Simpson claimed, from the body-worn camera, CCTV footage from the store or CitiWatch cameras.

Simpson also claimed that he told several men loitering in front of the business to move along, but no such interactions occurred, prosecutors said.

“This conviction demonstrates our commitment to ensuring one standard of justice for all — regardless of one’s race, sex, religion, or occupation,” Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said in a statement.

Additional citizen video from when Simpson and Abdullah are struggling on the ground showed Abdullah repeatedly saying,

“I can’t breathe.”

Another man is then seen pulling at Abdullah’s arm in an attempt to free him.

The earlier viral clip was taken from a different angle of the altercation.

“A government official completely rushed to judgement and completely took the officer’s word for it,” said attorney Malcolm P. Ruff, who is representing Abdullah in a civil case against the city.

“We’ve seen time and time again that Baltimore city police officers are raised in a culture where we cannot simply trust them at face value.

“Then have Baltimore officials call you a thug and say your behavior is reprehensible without investigating what happened,” Ruff said.

Ruff said as a result of the charges against him, his client lost a job at H&S Bakery where he was making almost $20 an hour, and ended up spending months in jail during the outset of the pandemic.

Baltimore Police spokeswoman Lindsey Eldridge said Simpson’s police powers remain suspended and he has been assigned to administrative duties, pending an ongoing internal investigation.

Simpson’s sentencing is scheduled for October 21st.

He faces up to six months in prison for the false statement charge.

There is no maximum sentence for the misconduct charge.
















« Last Edit: September 15, 2021, 03:55:30 am by Battle »

Offline Battle

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #346 on: September 15, 2021, 01:09:14 pm »
Wednesday, 15th  September  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
Aurora Police Department has pattern of racially biased policing and excessive force
by ELISE SCHMELZER






Colorado’s attorney general will require the Aurora Police Department to make massive changes after a year-long investigation found officers’ pattern of racially biased policing and use of excessive force routinely violated state and federal law.

The department’s officers treated Black people and other people of color differently than white people, including arresting and using force against them, according to the investigation released Wednesday.

Officers also routinely used excessive force against people unnecessarily and failed to properly document information about people they stopped, the investigation found.

“We observed statistically significant racial disparities — especially with respect to Black individuals — in nearly every important type of police contact with the community, from interactions to arrests to uses of force,” the report states.

“These disparities persisted across income, gender and geographic boundaries. Together with the other information we reviewed, we find that Aurora Police engages in racially biased policing, treating people of color (and Black people in particular) differently from their white counterparts.”

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser will seek to create a legally binding agreement, known as a consent decree, with the Aurora Police Department that will outline the steps his office believes necessary to fix the problems investigators discovered.

State law gives the attorney general’s office and city administrators 60 days to come to an agreement.

“If this effort is unsuccessful, we will seek a court-imposed order correcting these problems,” the report states.

The investigation is the first under a new law passed in the summer of 2020 as large-scale protests against police brutality and racism continued across Colorado following the murder of George Floyd.

The bill, SB-217, gave Weiser’s office the authority to conduct such an investigation and, if agencies didn’t make the required changes, to force them to do so via civil litigation.

Weiser said at a Wednesday news conference that the patterns and practice investigation his office conducted into Aurora’s department is one of the first such investigations in the United States conducted by a state agency.

The U.S. Department of Justice for years has conducted similar investigations and implemented consent decrees.

Representative Leslie Herod, the Denver Democrat who sponsored the bill, applauded the attorney general’s investigation.

“This should be a lesson to other agencies that they need to put policies in place that protect their communities or they will be investigated,” she said.

Weiser chose the Aurora Police Department as the first agency to be investigated following a series of high-profile allegations of police misconduct, including the death of Elijah McClain at the hands of Aurora police and paramedics in 2019.

“In the months following the passage of this law, the Aurora community made clear that it had concerns about the Aurora Police Department and its fire department,” Weiser said.

McClain’s mother, Sheneen McClain, said the report “confirms what many Aurora residents already know — Aurora’s police department has a long-standing culture of violence and bias.”

She also called on Aurora to enter into the consent decree and for Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman to resign, according to a statement released by her attorney, Qusair Mohamedbhai.

Investigators also found that Aurora Fire Rescue had a pattern and practice of illegally injecting people with ketamine.

On multiple occasions, Aurora paramedics gave people doses of the sedative that were too large for their body weight and failed to properly monitor them after administering the drug.

The department stopped using ketamine in September 2020 as multiple investigations into its use of the drug on McClain continued.

Investigators attributed the failings of the Aurora Police Department to “systemic and severe culture problems,” according to the report.

“Aurora does not create and oversee appropriate expectations for responsible behavior, which leads to the use of excessive force and the violation of the civil rights of its residents,” a news release from Weiser’s office states.

For example, investigators saw officers tackle people to the ground without giving the people a chance to comply with orders, Weiser said.

They also saw officers repeatedly issue a generic command to “stop resisting” to people under arrest, even though the person under arrest did not appear to resist.

Officers often responded to a scene with a disproportionate “show of force mentality” that involves many officers drawing guns and threatening force.

“Aurora Police generally approaches the use of force with a what-can-be-justified-under-the-outer-limits-of-the-law approach rather than a what-force-is-necessary approach,” the report states.

Over 14 months, investigators conducted data analysis, spent 220 hours on ride-alongs with Aurora police and firefighters, attended dozens of police meetings, and reviewed body camera footage.

The investigators read more than 2,800 reports, spoke with Aurora residents and interviewed employees of the two agencies.


The exact terms of the consent decree have not been written, but Weiser said they will require the city to hire an independent monitor, overhaul its policies and seek reform to the city’s Civil Service Commission, which hires new officers and has final say on discipline.

Representatives of the Aurora Police Department did not immediately return a call for comment Wednesday.

The Aurora Police Department was at the top of civil rights attorney Mari Newman‘s mind while she helped write and lobby SB-217.

But Newman, who has litigated several police brutality lawsuits against the department, said Aurora is not the only problematic department in the state.

“This is hardly unique to Aurora,” she said.

Weiser said Wednesday that his office is not currently investigating any other Colorado law enforcement agencies, though Herod said Coloradans have reported concerns about other departments to his office.

Changes to Aurora police will not come immediately, Weiser said.

Consent decrees often last for years, Weiser said.

Failure to comply with the agreement’s terms could mean an injunction by a judge or fines.


























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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #347 on: September 16, 2021, 06:04:26 am »
Thursday, 16th  September  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
Every Officer in Missouri City Police Department Resigns
by Kaelan Deese





A small Missouri town lost its police chief and all the officers in the department after they abruptly announced their resignations.

Three officers, a sergeant, and the police chief of the Kimberling City Police Department cited several reasons for leaving their posts, including complaints about the pay rate and claiming they did not have the proper tools to perform their job.

The town has a population of around 2,400 people, according to the 2010 census.

The Stone County Sheriff's Department will handle calls until city officials can fill the spots left by the former officers.

"Until then, we will be answering all the calls in Kimberling City. We can't enforce city ordinances, but any other calls we will be handling at this time," Sheriff Doug Rader told KY3 News.

Kimberling City Police Chief Craig Alexander put in his resignation on August 23rd after accepting a new job position, telling the town's mayor, Bob Fritz, that he wanted a change and to better himself.

"I didn't know there were that many openings in Branson West because we didn't see an advertisement for police," Fritz said, referring to Alexander and officer Shaun McCafferty taking jobs at the Branson West Police Department.

Fritz called the resignations "unexpected" and said the pay and benefit concerns would be addressed for new hires in order to retain the town's police force.

"We're looking for officers, we're looking for a new police chief, and I think we'll be fine," Fritz said, adding that officials are working diligently to fill the empty roles.

The resignations come as the United States has endured a climate of protests across the nation since last year's summer of unrest.

Early retirements, many of which were attributed to the nationwide demonstrations as well as the January 6th siege of Capitol Hill, have prompted some localities to ramp up efforts to hire officers, with Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser proposing in June the hiring of 170 additional officers following citywide efforts to defund law enforcement.


























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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #348 on: September 16, 2021, 06:17:11 am »
Thursday, 16th  September  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
OVERTURNED!
by The Associated Press






(MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota) — The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday reversed the third-degree murder conviction of a former Minneapolis Black police officer who fatally shot an Australian white woman in 2017, saying the charge doesn't fit the circumstances in the case.

Mohamed Noor was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a dual U.S.-Australian citizen who called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her home.

He was sentenced to 12 1/2 years on the murder count but was not sentenced for manslaughter.

























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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #349 on: September 16, 2021, 07:50:21 am »
Thursday, 16th September  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
Beverly Hills: 99% of people arrested by ‘safe streets’ unit were Black
by Sam Levin





Nearly all the people arrested by a Beverly Hills police taskforce over the past year were Black, according to a new lawsuit which alleges egregious racial profiling in the wealthy California city.

The complaint, filed Tuesday by the prominent civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, alleges that out of 106 people arrested by a Beverly Hills police “safe streets” taskforce, 105 were Black and one was a dark-skinned Latino person.

Between March 2020 and July 2021, the unit unjustly stopped and arrested Black civilians who were roller skating, scootering, driving and jaywalking a few feet outside the crosswalk, the suit said.

The unit, also known as the Rodeo Drive taskforce, was set up last year in response to “a significant increase in calls for service in our business community”, according to the city, which is one of the richest municipalities in the US and less than 2% Black.

The plaintiffs in the suit, which was filed as a class action, are Jasmine Williams and Khalil White, a couple on vacation in Beverly Hills last September.

They had been riding a scooter when police detained them “without any reasonable suspicion or probable cause”, lawyers wrote, saying officers demanded their IDs to run their names through a criminal database even though they hadn’t committed a crime.

The couple “peacefully” objected to the officers “abusing their police powers” and were subsequently handcuffed and arrested on “multiple fabricated charges”, the complaint said, adding that prosecutors later dropped the charges.

The suit also cited a 2nd October 2020 incident when the unit stopped Salehe Bembury, who was then vice-president of men’s footwear at Versace and was holding a Versace shopping bag.

Body-camera footage from that incident shows officers followed him and stopped him for jaywalking, with one saying,

“How come you did that? You didn’t want to wait for the light?”

The officers immediately asked for his ID, asked if he had weapons on him and then proceeded to pat him down and search him.

“What’s unfortunate is I literally designed the shoes that are in this bag, and I’m being … searched,”
Bembury said to the officers, after repeatedly making clear that he was complying and that the officers were making him nervous.

When he got his phone out to record, one officer tried to discourage him from filming, saying,

“Right now, you’re being detained.”

The officers later released him.

Bembury posted footage of the interaction on Instagram.

The suit cited another incident in October during which officers stopped a Black driver and Black passenger without cause and eventually let them go without a citation.

The suit is against the police department and captain Scott Dowling, who led the force and “directed his subordinates to seize, interrogate, use force, falsely arrest, and maliciously prosecute any African Americans who traveled on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills”, lawyers wrote in the complaint, which the local news site LAist published on Wednesday.

“That day was very terrifying,” Williams, a nurse, said in a press conference, Spectrum News reported.

“I don’t want this to keep happening to anyone, it’s not right.”

The city defended the taskforce on Wednesday, claiming the unit was set up in response to merchants’ complaints about “burglaries, shoplifting, pedestrian and vehicle code violations, street gambling, public intoxication, marijuana smoking and more”.

The unit recovered illegal firearms and uncovered unemployment fraud cases, the city said in a statement.

Dowling could not be reached.

The city also claimed that Williams and White had been illegally riding scooters on the sidewalk and had “provided false information” to an officer, but their lawyer said that claim was false, which was why charges were dropped.

The city has not disputed the arrest data included in the lawsuit and did not respond to questions about the figures.

A spokesman said the task force was no longer in operation.

Bradley Gage, a local attorney also representing the couple, said it was wrong for the city to celebrate the work of the unit and ignore the extreme racial disparities in arrests:

“These numbers are outrageous … and they are trying to justify it with a racial stereotype that Black people commit crimes.”























« Last Edit: September 16, 2021, 09:34:28 pm by Battle »

Offline Battle

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #350 on: September 19, 2021, 01:17:07 pm »
Sunday,  19th Spetember  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
Minnesota Supreme Court Clears the Way for Voters to Decide on Minneapolis Policing Measure
by J.L. Cook






The future of the Minneapolis Police Department’s direction is now in the hands of voters after Minnesota’s highest court gave the OK for a controversial measure to be added to the ballot for the impending municipal elections.

This measure proposes an amendment to the Minneapolis city charter that would allow for the police department in its current form to be replaced with a new “department of public safety” that would use a “comprehensive public health approach to safety”—which can include licensed peace officers if necessary.

It would also strip the mayor of sole control of the department and allow for the city council to also have a say in its direction and would require a council-appointed commissioner of public safety to oversee the department.

The position of police chief would still exist, but it would no longer be considered a department head.

Earlier this week, according to the Associated Press, a district judge rejected the city council-approved ballot language because she felt it didn’t adequately describe the effects of what would happen to the police department if the measure passes.

This was spurred by a lawsuit filed by opponents of the measure who wanted the “misleading” language thrown out altogether.

The Minnesota Supreme Court disagreed and overturned the district court’s ruling on Thursday.























« Last Edit: September 19, 2021, 01:35:15 pm by Battle »

Offline Battle

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #351 on: September 21, 2021, 03:32:24 pm »
Tuesday, 21st  September   ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
George Holliday, The Man Who Shot The Video Of Pigs Beating Rodney King, Has Passed
by The Associated Press






(LOS ANGELES, California) — George Holliday, the Los Angeles plumber who shot grainy video of four white pigs beating Black motorist Rodney King in 1991, has died of complications of COVID-19, a friend said Monday.

Holliday, 61, died Sunday at a Los Angeles hospital, where he had been for more than a month, according to Robert Wollenweber, a longtime friend and former coworker.

Holliday was not vaccinated and was on a ventilator in recent days after contracting pneumonia, Wollenweber said.

Holliday was awakened by a traffic stop outside his San Fernando Valley home on the night of March 3rd, 1991.

He went outside to film it with his new video camera, catching the Los Angeles officers punching, kicking and using a stun gun on King, even after he was on the ground.

A year later, Holliday's out-of-focus footage — about 9 minutes worth — was a key piece of evidence at the four officers' criminal trial for assault and excessive use of force.

When a jury acquitted all the officers on April 29th, 1992, the city erupted in widespread violence.

Hundreds of businesses were looted and destroyed over several days.

Entire blocks of homes and stores went up in flames.
 
More than 60 people died by shootings or other violence, mostly in South Los Angeles.

The uprising seemed to catch the rest of the nation by surprise, but longtime residents said tensions were building in South LA for years and the King verdict was just the tipping point.

On the third day of the riots, King went on TV to plead for calm, asking in a trembling voice,

"Can we all get along?"

King sued Los Angeles over the beating and was awarded $3.8 million in 1994.

King drowned in his backyard swimming pool on June 17, 2012, at age 47.

Holliday put the Sony camcorder he used to record the beating up for auction last July, with bidding starting at $225,000.

Holliday told the New York Times last year that he was still working as a plumber and never profited from the video.

He said he had purchased the camera about a month earlier and he grabbed it instinctively when he was awakened by noise outside his window.

"You know how it is when you have a new piece of technology," he told the Times.

"You film anything and everything."

Holliday said in 2017 that he was working on a documentary about his role in the King case.

Born in Canada, to a British father and German mother, his family moved around the world due to his father’s job with Shell Oil.

He spent time in Indonesia and from the age of five was raised in Argentina.

In search of work, he moved to the U.S. in 1980 at the age of 18.

He worked as a plumber for 43 years and lived at the San Fernando Valley apartment, which was 100 feet from the site of the incident with his first wife.




Would You Like To Know More?
https://news.yahoo.com/george-holliday-shot-video-police-080147957.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall

https://www.npr.org/2021/09/21/1039236256/george-holliday-who-shot-the-video-of-officers-beating-rodney-king-has-died

https://www.dailynews.com/2021/09/20/george-holliday-man-who-filmed-rodney-king-beating-dies-of-covid-19/

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/general-news/george-holliday-rodney-king-tape-dies-at-61-1235017470/

https://people.com/crime/george-holliday-who-filmed-the-1991-rodney-king-beating-dies-after-contracting-covid-reports/

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/george-holliday-who-shot-video-police-beating-rodney-king-dies-2021-09-21/

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/george-holliday-man-who-filmed-rodney-king-beating-dies-covid-n1279702

https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/21/us/george-holliday-rodney-king-video-obit-trnd/index.html

Offline Battle

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #352 on: September 22, 2021, 08:33:45 am »
Wednesday, 22nd September   ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
Black women file class action against Metropolitan poLICE Department
by Jessica Floyd







Black women who currently and previously worked for the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C. are calling out the racism and sexism they’ve experienced at the hands of fellow officers and retaliation by internal affairs when they sought to file complaints.

Attorney Pam Keith, who is representing 10 plaintiffs in a class action against MPD, contends this lawsuit is centered on a challenge that police departments across the country are facing — cleaning house when officers’ actions require accountability.

“If you are not looking out for your own people and taking care of your officers, how are you treating the citizens on the street in the District of Columbia,” questions Leslie Clark, a senior police officer in the helicopter unit of the Special Operations Division and one of Keith’s plaintiffs.

“It’s like you don’t care.”

Clark told theGrio her woes with the Metropolitan Police Department began in 2012 when she tried to sound the alarm on an officer in the Special Operations Division who threatened to kill then-First Lady Michelle Obama.

One of the main reasons Clark spoke out was because the division this officer served in daily was tasked with running the operations for the police who are part of the presidential and vice presidential details, which meant he would be in close proximity to security information and possibly FLOTUS any given day.

“You don’t play about threatening the first lady of the United States and I don’t care what first lady it is whether it’s laura bush, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, melania. I don’t care. You don’t do that,” Clark emphasized.

“And my whole thing is, if I had been a Black officer making that comment, I would have reported him also. And it’s just you take an oath to protect the citizens of the District of Columbia and the president and any other dignitary.”

The plaintiffs of this suit range in career experience and seniority with MPD.

But each have common threads tying this case together — race, gender and retaliation that went on their records.

Some also encountered sexual misconduct while on duty.




























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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #353 on: September 23, 2021, 06:44:22 am »
Thursday, 23rd September  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
2 Pigs Charged With Assaulting Black Motorist Being Sued for Damages in Federal Court
by Mary Ellen Cagnassola






A man in Georgia who was kicked and punched in the head by police four years ago during a traffic stop is suing the officers in federal court, claiming the stop and force used against him were unfounded, the Associated Press reported.

Demetrius Hollins was was pulled over by Gwinnett County Police Sergeant Michael Bongiovanni near Atlanta in 2017, when Hollins was 22.

He told reporters Wednesday that he still has "some kind of PTSD from this situation."

In video footage filmed by a witness, Bongiovanni appears to punch Hollins while Hollins is standing with his hands up as he steps out of his car.

Another video shows the police sergeant screaming at Hollins as he's handcuffed.

Hollins lies face-down on a busy intersection, and another officer, Robert McDonald, runs up and appears to kick Hollins' head.

Hollins filed the federal lawsuit earlier in September against Bongiovanni, McDonald, former Gwinnett County Police Chief Butch Ayers and the county.

The lawsuit alleges that Bongiovanni pulled Hollins over without justification and then retaliated with excessive force after Hollins began using his cellphone to record video of the encounter.

It says McDonald knew Hollins was not a threat when he arrived at the scene but still kicked Hollins in the head and held him down with a gun pressed to his head.

Both officers were fired the next day after video of the traffic stop surfaced.

They were subsequently charged with multiple crimes related to the stop.

Working phone numbers for the two could not immediately be found Wednesday, and online court records did not list a lawyer for either man who could comment on the charges.

The lawsuit also says Ayers, now the executive director of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, was aware that officers in his department routinely used "unnecessary physical force when making arrests and searches" and that he signed off on use-of-force reports even though supervisors had decided to close the cases without further investigation or inquiry.

It also says the county's use-of-force procedure was unconstitutional because it "expressly authorized officers to use unnecessary, gratuitous, and disproportionate non-deadly physical force against citizens as a matter of routine procedure when making arrests and searches."

The county allowed unconstitutional policies and practices in use-of-force investigations, discipline, training and supervision to continue unchecked for nearly 20 years, the lawsuit says.

Ayers did not immediately respond Wednesday to an email seeking comment.

County attorney Mike Ludwiczak said the county does not comment on pending litigation.

As so often is the case in instances of police brutality, the officers were untruthful in their reports and the truth came out because video existed, said L. Chris Stewart, an attorney for Hollins.

After this incident, he said, Gwinnett County prosecutors had to throw out dozens of cases because they could not rely on the reports filed by these officers.

"The people of Gwinnett County suffered because of these officers," Stewart said.

Hollins was driving a red Acura Integra with no license plate and a brake light that did not work, and switched lanes three times without signaling, according to an incident report filed by Bongiovanni.

The lawsuit says Hollins obeyed traffic laws, had two functioning brake lights and his vehicle tag was visible through the rear window.

The lawsuit says the original stop "was not supported by actual or arguable reasonable suspicion or probable cause" to believe he had committed a traffic offense or violated any other law.

Even if the traffic stop had been justified, Bongiovanni acted "in an objectively unreasonable manner" in violation of Hollins' rights, it says.

In nearly 20 years with the department, Bongiovanni had previously reported 67 use-of-force incidents.

Only four were investigated and only because of formal citizen complaints, the lawsuit says.

He was ultimately exonerated in all four.

Officers must file a report whenever they use physical force against a person, and supervisors are supposed to investigate that use of force to make sure it is justified and complies with department policy.

But supervisors in the Gwinnett County Police Department routinely approved officers' reports and closed the cases without any investigation, the lawsuit says.

Almost all of Bongiovanni's prior use-of-force reports lacked sufficient information to determine whether they were justified, the lawsuit says. Additionally, Bongiovanni and McDonald had a history of using excessive force when responding to calls together, the lawsuit says.

Bongiovanni pleaded no contest in June 2019 to aggravated assault and battery and was sentenced to six months in a work-release program and 10 years' probation.

A jury in February 2020 found McDonald guilty of aggravated assault, battery and violating his oath of office, and he was sentenced to 10 years' probation.

The lawsuit, which was filed September 10th, asks for a jury trial and seeks compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorneys' fees and legal expenses.






















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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #354 on: September 23, 2021, 01:53:39 pm »
Thursday, 23rd September  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
Louisiana state stupor charged in pummeling of Black man
by JAKE BLEIBERG and JIM MUSTIAN







A former Louisiana State Police trooper has been charged with a civil rights violation for pummeling a Black motorist 18 times with a flashlight — the first criminal case to emerge from federal investigations into troopers’ beatings of at least three Black men.

A grand jury on Thursday indicted Jacob Brown for the 2019 beating following a traffic stop that left Aaron Larry Bowman with a broken jaw, broken ribs and a gash to his head.

Brown was charged with one count of deprivation of rights under color of law, federal prosecutors said.

Brown’s attorney, Scott Wolleson, declined to comment

Bowman’s attorney, Donecia Banks-Miley, called the indictment “a sigh of relief.”

“We’re just trying to remain hopeful and trust the process of justice,” she told The Associated Press.

“Aaron is extremely happy, and he just wants full justice.”

Brown’s indictment comes as the federal prosecutors on the case are scrutinizing other troopers who punched, stunned and dragged another Black motorist, Ronald Greene, before he died in their custody on a rural roadside.

The probe of Greene’s 2019 death has grown to examine whether police brass obstructed justice to protect the troopers who beat the Black motorist after a high-speed chase.

Body camera video of both beatings, which took place less than three weeks and 20 miles (32 kilometers) apart, remained under wraps before the AP obtained and published them this year.

They are among a dozen cases over the past decade in which an AP investigation found troopers or their bosses ignored or concealed evidence of beatings, deflected blame and impeded efforts to root out misconduct.

“The department has previously acknowledged that it has open and ongoing criminal investigations into incidents involving the Louisiana State Police that resulted in death or bodily injury to arrestees,” the DOJ said in a statement.

“Those investigations remain ongoing.”

On the May night Bowman was pulled over for a traffic violation, Brown came upon the scene after deputies had forcibly removed Bowman from his vehicle and taken him to the ground.

The trooper later told investigators he “was in the area and was trying to get involved.”

Video and police records show he beat Bowman 18 times with a flashlight in 24 seconds after deputies pulled him over for a traffic violation near his Monroe home.

Brown later said Bowman had struck a deputy and the blows were “pain compliance” intended to get Bowman into handcuffs.

Bowman, 46, denied hitting anyone and is not seen on the video being violent with officers.

He still faces a list of charges, including battery of a police officer, resisting an officer and the traffic violation for which he was initially stopped, improper lane usage.

Brown, 31, failed to report his use of force and mislabeled his body-camera footage in what investigators described in internal records as “an intentional attempt to hide the video.”

State police didn’t investigate the attack until 536 days later, and only did so after a lawsuit from Bowman.

Brown was perhaps the Louisiana State Police’s most prolifically violent trooper in recent years.

Records show he tallied 23 uses of force dating to 2015 — 19 on Black people — and he faces state charges in Bowman’s case and two other violent arrests of Black motorists.

The Louisiana State Police’s own tally shows that in recent years 67% of its uses of force were against Black people.

That figure has fueled mounting calls from civil rights groups and Black leaders for the U.S. Justice Department to go beyond individual prosecutions and launch a “pattern and practice” probe into potential racial profiling by the agency.

Col. Lamar Davis, the head of the state police, said earlier this month that he would welcome such a probe if the department deems it necessary but that he wants the opportunity to correct the department’s issues and is already working to do so.